PARSONS, Kan. — The Parsons Police Department announced the death of one of its K9 officers.

Police say K9, Karim, a 4-year-old Belgium Malinois, had worked a 12-hour shift on Monday and appeared to be fine when his handler placed him in his kennel yesterday. When the officer awoke, he found Karim dead inside his kennel.

Officials with the department say the officer is devastated at the unexpected loss of his K9 partner who had been with him since 2021.

According to the department, Karim was trained in tracking and narcotics detection and was one of the first members of Parsons K9 program.

Karim has been sent to Kansas State University School of Veterinarian Medicine for autopsy to determine his cause of death.

PPD says they guarantee full transparency in this matter and are conducting a joint investigation with the Labette County Sheriff’s Department into the circumstances surrounding Karim’s death.

The department says they will try to partner with the Kansas Police Dog Association for guidance in the investigation.

Details about Karim’s memorial and burial will be released after the autopsy results are returned.